Crab’s Odyssey: Malta to Istanbul in an Open Boat
It began with the shipwreck of the ferry taking them to join their newly purchased boat on Malta, and ended with them finding an authoritative Ancient Greek historian wrong about the Bosphorus passage. Two ordinary second-year students at Somerville College Oxford and their assorted crews sailed more than 1,500 miles in an open boat over four summers.
Joining them at different junctures was a medley of fellow-sailors. To pick up crew at pre-arranged rendezvous at fortnightly intervals in the 1950s was a juggling act that for one crew member took three nights, eight trains and a ferry. But they only mislaid one – and in the search came close to losing the skipper.
There were no plans for a journey to Istanbul at the outset, but the further they sailed, the more their ambitions grew. There were six major crossings – sometimes with non-stop bailing. The book vividly recalls a Mediterranean Europe emerging from WWII.
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